Community Spotlight: Walk with Team Gabriella


At the Epilepsy Foundation of Metropolitan New York, we have the opportunity to work with the metro area’s leading health providers and advocates as well as extraordinary individuals and families affected by epilepsy. That’s why we’re excited to introduce the first in our Community Spotlight series.  This series will highlight the exciting efforts being made within our community each day to increase epilepsy awareness, education and empowerment. This first edition features the story of Team Gabriella as told by her mother, Karen Mendez.

To join Team Gabriella and EFMNY for the 1st Annual Into the Light Walk for Epilepsy Awareness on Saturday, November 10th in Hudson River Park, visit For more information, email or call 212-677-8550.

Gabriella’s Story by Karen Mendez

On December 27, 2007 God blessed me with a beautiful baby girl who I named Gabriella Ashley Mendez. At the age of 2, Gabriella would have these violent awakening episodes which the doctor said were night terrors. At the time, they believed they were normal and that she would grow out of it. But, I knew that something wasn’t right with my baby. Tests were done and the doctors told me that Gabriella was having seizures! SEIZURES?? I felt like my heart was ripped from my chest! Gabriella was diagnosed with Intractable Epilepsy.  This means that her seizures cannot be controlled. My heart aches every day having to watch Gabriella go through this. As her mother, I feel helpless knowing there’s nothing I can do to help her while she’s trying to fight through the seizures. They say God will not give us more then we can handle. Because God has given me the strength, I WILL continue to fight for Gabriella and other children like my daughter. That’s why I’ve started Team Gabriella with family and friends to walk in the 1st Annual Into the Light Walk for Epilepsy Awareness on Saturday, November 10th.  You can join us or make a donation to support Gabriella by visiting